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Tales from the Stave

What did you do during the autumn half term? Mr Simeone travelled with a BBC crew to Italy where he went to look at the original handwritten manuscript of one of the most famous operas ever written, “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi. You can hear him talking about the manuscript (and the very tragic story of the opera) on the latest series of the Radio 4 programme "Tales from the Stave" broadcast on Tuesday 2nd May and now available on the BBC iPlayer. The manuscript in kept in the Archivio Storico Ricordi in Milan, where Mr Simeone was able to see it in the company of an opera singer and one of Ricordi's senior archivists.

The conversation between them was recorded for the programme.

Mr Simeone is also on Radio 4 again in the next programme of the series to talk about the Roman Trilogy by Ottorino Respighi. This includes Respighi's famous "Pines of Rome", a stunning and spectacular showpiece for very large orchestra (which even includes a part for "gramophone" to play the song of a nightingale). It was composed in 1924 and has served ever since as a model for many of the epic film scores composed for Hollywood movies from the 1930s onwards. Mr. Simeone was delighted to study this manuscript in company with the Italian conductor Franceso Cilluffo.